11 Sep Kauai Marathon a success
The 2nd Annual Kauai Marathon is over and was a great success both for the runners and for the island, Poipu in particular. It is a very hard marathon. starting right in front of the Kiahuna Plantation at 6:00 AM sharp, runners go down Poipu Road, and turn right onto the bypass road to Koloa and onto the highway, up through the Tree Tunnel, then left and down Omao Road. Here the half marathoners got to continue on down the Kukuiula bypass road, around the traffic circle and finish up in front of the Sheraton. Two thirds of the 1500 runners did the half marathon. The other 500 turned right from Omao Road and ran up Koloa Roadalong the Omao Ranch Lands to Kalaheo, around the Kukuiolono Golf Course and back down Koloa Road and then ending in front of the Sheraton. There was a $15,000.00 award to any runner breaking the 2:30 hour mark. In the Honolulu Marathon, runners beat two hours and thirty minutes all the time but the Kauai Marathon has so many hills and valleys, even the elite runners have trouble coming in under that time. In fact the winner, Michael Wardian from Arlington, VA came in at 2:30:52. though he has run sub 2:30 marathons plenty of times before, he said that the difficulty of the run, coupled with the heat and humidity took a tremendous toll on him this year. J.T. Service, the first place winner from last year came in second and was just happy to finish.
The Army National Guard had a large presence and so did Terri Halliday’s speed walking girls as well as Pam Kruse’s Fitbodies Team. Quite a few locals either ran or walked the course and had the whole Kauai High School cheerleading squad to cheer them on at the finish line. Even our Mayor Bernard Carvalho made good time and had many supporters on the sidelines.
There was live music, an awards ceremony that featured award tiles done by our very own Banana Patch Art Studio, massage tent, free food, free beer for those over 21, and a good time was had by all. I am sure there were quite a few very sore muscles the next day but on race day nothing but smiles and aloha in the remarkable, tropical setting that is Poipu. Just look at the smile on Michael Wardian face and that says it all. The background isn’t bad either.